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Thickbox is dead. Long live the... ? (Feedback request)

brettbrett FoxyCart Team
in General edited October 2009
Hello all.
It was asked recently why FoxyCart used Thickbox. The short answer is because Thickbox was the best option when we started building FoxyCart. Things change, however, and FoxyCart will adapt with the times.

As with almost all things FoxyCart, we aren't here to reinvent the wheel, and there are a variety of existing modal window scripts of very high quality.

So that said, we'd love some feedback about what modal window scripts everybody likes, or if people would like different treatments in future versions.

Some of our ideas:
- ColorBox. Haven't used it myself but Easy to work with, looks nice, and has many different (nice looking) themes.

- jQuery Tools Overlay. Part of a larger suite but very very small filesize and pretty widely used.

- Simple Modal. Very lightweight (2kb). Looks to be very easy to work with and customize.

- Shadowbox. This is what I use most of the time. It's quite powerful, but can be temperamental, and I (personally) always spend more time than I'd like. But it is _very_ powerful.

- Fancybox. Haven't used this myself either.

- DOM window by Cody Lindley (author or Thickbox). Solid but perhaps more minimal than most users may want.

- Nyromodal. Lightweight, clean.

- TopUp. New, heavy, but looks solid, with nice functionality for iframes (ability to resize the window, for example).

- Zoombox.

In the past what we've done has been to strip down Thickbox in order to make it a smaller file, and packaged it into the foxycart_includes.js. In the future, we've had some requests to de-couple jQuery and the modal window functionality from foxycart_includes.js (so people could use the Google hosted jQuery or their own modal window).

We'd love some feedback on what you'd like to see from future versions of FoxyCart in this regard. As always, you can use whatever code you'd like, and that will never change, but many users just use the defaults, and that's what we're exploring. New defaults, and potential changes to increase flexibility for advanced users.

So, thoughts? We love feedback!
  • tookingstookings Member
    edited October 2009
    I like Shadowbox and Colorbox. Haven't really worked with the others...Fancybox seemed a little slower loading, but just from the demo's online.

    The full de-coupling part would be very foxy though, regardless. :)
  • I'm going to echo tookings here, Shadowbox and Colorbox, but for me a full de-coupling would be the most exciting thing!

    I'd also throw in Overlay from jQuery Tools.
  • What functionality do we need in our overlay? I agree that Shadowbox and Colorbox are cool but do we really need all of the features they provide for our cart? I would probably go towards the lightest weight solution available that meets FoxyCart's needs.
  • brettbrett FoxyCart Team
    @bjbk: Wow I hadn't realized that jQuery Tools was less than 6KB. That's impressive.

    @brianfidler: Good question, and good point. As mentioned, in the past we've stripped Thickbox down significantly to minimize the file weight. The basic functionality we need is the ability to display an iframe, but many users end up using the default FoxyCart modal window for their cart and then adding another library for the modal window. That's fine, but that's even more page weight than should be necessary.

    What we're going for is a nice and solid default behavior, but obviously without causing problems for users that would rather have their own custom approach.
  • I vote for Colorbox - we just implemented it and we are loving it.
  • >but many users end up using the default FoxyCart modal window for their cart and then adding another library for the modal window.

    We're in that boat, and I'm certainly interested in whatever can be done to minimize the overall script size. Seems like a waste to have to load two modal libraries, and I've seen a bunch of other requests here for people that wanted to reuse the foxybox for other purposes.

    We just need to show images, so we're using Slimbox2, a 4 kB jQuery Lightbox clone. But if a revised foxybox could be used instead, it would make our site feel more self-consistent and I'd certainly prefer to save another 4 kB. :)
  • I've been using simplemodal for ages now.

    It's got all of the events you would need for API use. It's updated at a decent rate (which is different for most plugins). Colorbox looks good if you're going to use it as a slideshow or for media. But if you need a modal with events/API, I think simplemodal is the simplest. And it's really stable.
  • I've used colorbox for most recent projects so far, but I found it rather limited. Don't get me wrong, it's great, but If i wanted to load a modal box on pageload, there has to be an anchor to that content somewhere on the page, or it has to be inline.

    Now I use nyromodal. It's small, easy to skin, and even easier to customize.
  • I'll vote for Shadowbox, have used it on a number of sites and it integrates nicely.

    Hadn't heard of Slimbox2.. it 'looks' pretty cool at least, will have to check that out in more detail.
  • just another vote for overlay > jquery tools. They have well-thought-out coding standards, and they're a committed, organized team... you're unlikely to be caught with abandonware in a couple of years.
  • Wow! Overlay has some sweet eye candy!! Can't believe i missed these tools.. have been using flowplayer for a month ago or so.

    I'll change my vote thanks! ;-)
  • andjulesandjules Member
    edited October 2009
  • brettbrett FoxyCart Team
    Wow I am still kind of amazed by how small the jQuery Tools stuff is. That's currently what I'm most interested in. I've used FlowPlayer quite a bit and all their stuff is nicely done and documented very well. Gotta love that.
  • I've been using Shadowbox lately, and i must say i love it. However, i was unaware of the overlay option until i read this thread.

    I like shadowbox because its so straight forward and really makes it easy to implement many advanced functions. Haven't used Overlay, but just from skimming their page it looks slightly more complex. I'm not sure which is more powerful though... i didn't see any mention of flash or quicktime video within the Overlay stuff?
  • I've got a buddy with a NetBook who was just complaining about how you can't move or resize the "Checkout Popup" and that it's cut off on his tiny screen. Sorry I don't have any suggestions, but I thought I should at least mention this issue in case no one else has noticed this.
  • brettbrett FoxyCart Team
    edited November 2009
    Thanks for mentioning that, webbers. You can change the size of the thickbox pretty easily if you want:

    Also, new contender we might as well mention:
    It has some nice functionality for iframes, like the ability to resize and move the modal window.
  • I was going to vote ColorBox but this thread turned me on to jQuery Tools... after taking a look at it my vote goes with them, looks to be a very nice and flexible option, especially given what they've eeked out of the size.
  • expanismexpanism Member
    edited December 2009
    I think ColorBox is far the best... lightweight and everything is possible, png round corners, modal, ajax, iframe, inline content, etc. etc.!
    I used ShadowBox before but is damn heavy and lot's of files are required.

  • I use shadowbox and like it but can't speak for the other scripts. shadowbox instructions have an odd use of grammar though but it's a kind of "I know what you meant to say" problem.
  • brettbrett FoxyCart Team
    I just upgraded a Shadowbox setup yesterday for a non-profit I help ( give them money ;)

    It's a lot more robust than it used to be, imo.

    In case anybody's wondering, we haven't forgotten this thread. We actually touch on it every few days, and while we can't promise when we'll split off Thickbox from the FoxyCart js, it's definitely on the radar.
  • Hi Guys -

    Sorry if this is a hijack of the thread, but my problem seems directly connected with the above.

    Before implementing Foxycart, I'd already been using Thickbox, e.g. here:

    (click the big green "Get updates by email" or "Tell a Colleague" buttons on the left).

    Now, on pages where Foxycart is implemented, the cart works fine but the original Thickboxes don't fire, e.g.

    (again, click the big green "Get updates by email" or "Tell a Colleague" buttons on the left - nothing happens).

    I've tried suppressing the original thickbox js and css calls on Foxycart pages, hoping the Foxycart js and css would do the trick alone, but alas, that didn't work.

    Any suggestions (I'm not a programmer, just a benighted amateur, so the answer may well be something incredibly obvious and/or stupid - if so, apologies in advance).


    - Les
  • I have had problems with thickbox when I have accidentally included foxycart twice.. from memory it resulted in a popup inside a popup.

    I am using Colorbox now though.
  • Thanks, frontier.

    I don't *think* that's what's happening here - I've checked the source code and the FC js/css only appears once.
  • I don't recall why/how I stumbled upon it or chose it, but I have had very good experiences with Zoombox:

    Integrating it with FC was a piece of cake, as per Shadowbox instructions, etc.

    Would love to know of anyone else with experience using it.

  • brettbrett FoxyCart Team
    @lesmckeown Go ahead and post that on a new thread if you could.

    @alicam Thx for the link. Looks interesting.
  • i have started to integrate colorbox into my stuff and i have to say that it was the best choice i have made. it makes things so much simpler
  • brettbrett FoxyCart Team
    I just played with Shadowbox and Colorbox today. My first experience with Colorbox, and I must say that's is _very_ easy to work with. What it's looking like is that we'll make the FoxyCart javascript includes a little more modular, defaulting to something (like Colorbox) but making it very easy to support any *box script by tying into the onclose events (for those that support attaching functions to events).

    How's that sound to everybody?
  • Colorbox is great, you have my vote! :-)
  • sounds great just hope that we can use the other default themes when you add it. and maybe when you do then we can make our own theme.
  • I've used both colorbox and jQuery Tools Overlay. Both are great plugins. The size of jQuery Tools gives it an advantage IMHO.
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